Monday, February 19, 2007

Fixer-upper

I was lying awake last night with the usual litany of nagging concerns regarding my house. Seems like nearly every home improvement I've made to this house has come undone within a year or so.

To wit:

Screening in porch....screens are now torn and need replacing. I've been putting it off cause it's cold, and a pain in the ass.

Fencing in yard...tree guys dropped a big log on the chain link and it's all dented and ugly.

Laminate hardwood floors....in three places now, something has been spilled on the laminate and caused it to bubble.

Painting hallway walls....my new cat decided to scratch four deep holes in the cheap wall board and now the whole hallway needs to be sheetrocked.

Installing a nice antique window in the hallway....the carpenter who did this did a crappy job on the framing and I have yet to try to stain it.

Painstakingly painting the kitchen and kitchen cabinets....my choice of colors ended up being a bit off as well as the paint now being somewhat scratched, peeling in places and dirty.

New living room furniture bought with pets in mind (study, canvas etc...)....now two years later reminds of me of why buying new furniture is a complete waste of money when you own animals.

New bookcases for the living room wall.....although they are real wood and cost a lot of money, the shelves now sag and the veneer shelf fronting has peeled off.

New wooden bathroom counter that I made and polyeurathaned is now disgusting looking. And I'm reluctant to take it off to sand it and redo it because I'll screw up the delicate plumbing under the sink and have to call in my already exasperated plumber to put it right.

The only improvement that's holding up is the roof that my friend and I put on. No problems there.

It's all so depressing. I get excited about trying to improve the place, but it always seems that this place just doesn't want to rise above.

I'm at the point which I've accepted that when it comes time to sell, I'm selling the house as is and taking a loss. My goal is just to try to make enough on it so that I'll have a decent downpayment on another place. It will be halfway paid off at the end of this year and that puts me in somewhat of a comfort zone. I assume the house will sell to a contractor who has the resources to fix it up properly and make a profit.

Anyway, lessons learned. It's not been awful. It's sizeable, warm, dry, private, reasonably attractive and the payments have been easy to double each month with my income.
I guess that's why they call them starter homes.

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